Review: Wyndham Rio Mar Ocean Course

A lush, tropical, "ocean" course.
You expect certain things when you take a golf trip to the Caribbean.  Perfect weather, plenty of sun, lush green fairways, palms trees, lagoons, and the Ocean.  At the Rio Mar Ocean Course you get all of those things wrapped up in a nice yet challenging layout.  While it is called the Ocean course, it really only has 1 hole that runs along the ocean, the rest of the course is set mostly on the acreage just a tiny bit inland of the ocean.  The majority of the course is separated from the ocean by the may Wyndham resort.  Yet you still get a nice tropical course that has some really great holes.  Just as much as the Ocean part of the course is nice, the views of the rainforest “El Yunque” are really nice.
The course starts with a simple dogleg left.  It is a good starting hole that really sets the pace for the rest of the course.  The Bermuda rough isn’t too difficult and the tight cut fairways are generous for the most part.  There are lagoons and ponds on many of the holes.  The second hole plays around 2 such water hazards.  A good tee shot is a must on this hole to avoid water right or left. The 4th hole is a great par 3, with water between you and the green.  There is at least bailout to the left on this hole.   The 5th hole is a solid par 5 that again navigates around some water features and leaves a tough approach into the green over water.  The 6th hole tripped me up.  It is a nice looking simple par 4.  Not long, not overly tough as long as you stay right.  The 9th hole is a tough, long par 4 that is semi blind into the green depending on your tee shot.

The back 9 starts you right next to the front 9 and meanders closer to the ocean.  The 11th is a long, demanding par 5 that doglegs right.  The 13th hole is on the tough side too.  It looks really narrow off the tee and hitting the green is tough because of the front left water.   The 15th hole is a par 5 that has a great view from the tee box which is set up on the hillside and looks out over much of the property and down toward the ocean, where you will soon encounter the signature hole.  The 16th is the Ocean hole.  It is beautiful and beastly.  From the back tees it played 235 the day we were there, with a strong ocean breeze.  I ripped a 3-wood and just missed the left side (ocean side) of the green.  I still got up and down for par, but a tough narrow hole with condo right and ocean left.  The green is large, but still not easy to hit.  Even from the closer tees it is still a long hole.  You finish toward the club house with a solid par 4.

While it isn’t as oceanfront as I was hoping, it is a solid course that offers a great variety of holes.  The many water features throughout the course demand precision with your shots, or you are going to go through a lot of golf balls.  The 16th hole is beautiful and tough.  Great conditions, nice layout, and playing along and near the ocean, the Rio Mar Ocean course is a great choice.

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Quick Hits
+Ocean hole 16
+Lush conditions
+Lots of variety of holes
+Great views of El Yunque

-Only 1 hole on ocean